Woman held for VOIP run in collusion with Dubai-based Pak man

KATHMANDU: Nepal Police's Central Investigation Bureau raided a hi-tech Voice Over Internet Protocol call centre at Gokarneshwar-5, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, and arrested a woman for her involvement in telecommunications crime.

The suspect, 24-year-old Anupa Khatiwada of Nijgadh, Bara, was allegedly guided and assisted by a Pakistani national to run the illegal VOIP call centre.

She had earlier worked in Dubai where she met the other suspect who has been identified as one Aashin.

CIB officials also seized many equipment used for bypassing international calls from the room during the raid yesterday.

"The Pakistani citizen stayed in a regular touch with Khatiwada via social networking site Whatsapp after she returned home and offered to support her to run VoIP in Kathmandu saying that it could earn her big money," said SP Meera Chaudhary at the CIB said.

Khatiwada has been remanded to a five-day judicial custody for further investigation into the case.

Dubai-based Aashin had sent a GSM Gateway device of a 64-port capacity to Khatiwada from Hong Kong via DHL to operate the illegal call centre, the CIB said.

To control the system, he had got a special software, TeamViewer, installed on Khatiwada's laptop.

The racketeers were found to have been involved in blocking the telecom service providers’ legal gateway to bypass incoming international calls, causing revenue losses to the authorised telecom companies in the country.

CIB said the phone calls received via illegal VoIP could not be traced and make it difficult for police to investigate crimes.

As many as 144 persons including 31 foreigners -- from 97 places -- have been arrested under the CIB's ‘Operation Voice Fox’ in the past seven years and charged under the Telecommunications Act-1997.

As per laws, any person who intentionally causes adverse effect, damage or any other loss to the telecommunication structure of the country is liable to a fine equal to the loss or five years in jail or both.